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Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

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  • Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

    After 1 week with my first espresso machine (Ikon) and 6L of milk, I attempted my first rosetta, and the contrast in the colour is very poor. What creates those dark brown lines in between while you pour? I find the espresso gets mixed with the milk very quickly and loses the dark brown colour. In the videos the baristas sometimes even pour in circles, and the brown colour still materializes at the end of the pour. Any advice?

    (excuse those brown specks, they were coffee grounds that fell into the bowl when I removed the group head, I wasnt going to drink it anyway it was just to practice)


  • #2
    Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

    Are you getting any crema when you pull the shot? You should have a few mm of crema and then once you pour it all comes to the top.

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    • #3
      Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

      Hi Spoke,


      Two things spring to mind immediately.
      1. How fresh are the beans youre using? Any more than 3 weeks old and theyre going to lack crema (and nice tastes in general). Crema is quite important, though not crucial, to latte art.
      2. Are you using a proper filter basket as opposed to a double walled one? Hold it up to the light, do you see many small holes in the bottom? if not, its a double walled filter basket. A double walled basket creates false crema, which wouldnt help the defnition.

      Lastly (I know, i had two points), how much are you extracting from the coffee? It should be no more than 30mls (1 fl oz) for a single and 60 mls (2 fl oz) for a double.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

        Thanks for the feedback!

        The beans are freshly roasted, they are 4-5 days old.  But I was using the double walled filter baskets that came with the machine.  There was a small amount of crema, but a lot of it dissipated by the time I frothed the milk a couple of minutes later.  

        Ill need to get the regular filter baskets to try it out.  (For other Breville users, I found out that the Morphy Richards espresso machine uses similar sized baskets (part#47505005), the Breville Bar Vista in Canada has the same double walled ones, so those wont work.)
        http://www.morphyrichards.co.uk/Acce...ssory=47505005

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        • #5
          Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

          If youre fast making the shot, you could steam the milk (remove the milk frothing attachment) and then make the shot, saving the shot from getting cold for 2 mins.

          Doesnt look like you have any crema to pour the milk through, or enough milk foam to create the leaves.

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          • #6
            Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

            If you are handy with a Dremel tool or small grinder then it is fairly straight-forward to cut off the base of the double basket. Leave a good lip--say 3-4 mm so the screen cant fall out.

            Heres a pic of the one I did from the work Ikon. This really helps create real crema, although it does mean that beans and grind are now critical.

            Greg



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            • #7
              Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

              You can pour a contrasted rosetta with no crema (there is an online clip to prove it), .. the coffee maybe underextracted,

              Best thing is to check out some online clips to see how the milk pours through the coffee. (you may have already)

              If not.. it must be the milk. how big is that bowl?

              keep trying, enjoy the journey, cant expect to nail it in the first week.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

                Umm it looks like you arent stretching the milk at all. You need microfoam for latte art.

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                • #9
                  Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

                  Is there even coffee in the bowl?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

                    Youre on the right track...the crema is your canvas and needs to be preserved as much as possible when pouring the milk in. Hence why youve seen all the baristas on youtube moving the milk around the cup.

                    You need to start your pour quickly then slow it down so as to keep your "canvas" and then move the stream around the cup until youre at the point of starting the art. Of course, in the time Ive taken to describe this, that has all happened and its all over, depending on the size of your cup.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

                      Hi spoke,

                      on refection, please make sure that you only have 30ml of rich, thick, espresso, If you try pouring art in a long black it turns out very weak.

                      Just something to try.



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

                        Originally posted by 485854544F5A645C5A573B0 link=1249185568/9#9 date=1249251002
                        the crema is your canvas and needs to be preserved as much as possible when pouring the milk in
                        Do you?

                        http://www.jimseven.com/2009/07/10/video-5-the-return-of-the-absurd/

                        Interesting video...not that I necessarily agree with (a) pouring in to cremaless coffee and (b) skimming crema but the video does prove you dont need crema to pour latte art.

                        2 things make latte art contrast almost impossible.
                        (i) very little espresso as a base in relation to vessel size
                        (ii) too much texture in milk. Pouring with thick milk in to espresso will almost wash out all colour.

                        As Scoots already alluded to, the reason why baristas pour in circles before starting the pattern is to chase down any white spots in the canvas to ensure we have a perfectly homogeneous brown surface to pour in to.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

                          Spoke,

                          This may not be what you want to hear, but being fairly new to espresso, latte art really should be the last thing you need to worry about.

                          I would concentrate firstly on getting your grind/dose/tamp down, make sure youre getting the 30/60 mls in 30 seconds and can adjust the variables slightly to get the desired result. Concentrate on texturing the milk correctly and being able to make a variety of drinks. Latte, cap, machiatto etc etc

                          Also concentrate on expanding your palate. Go to lots of top notch cafes, ask for different blends/single origins and styles of drinks. If theres any cupping sessions in your city, go to some and learn about the different single origins available.

                          Without any of this, youre essentially putting lipstick on the proverbial pig.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

                            Thanks for all the response!  

                            I must say that the coffee culture in Toronto is very sad.

                            Even with my current lack of experience, the coffee I make at home is often better than the nice cafes around here, one of which I just went to yesterday.  But there are some occasional cupping sessions at a select few places which I will try to attend.

                            There is a barista course offered by the Canadian Barista Association, this month, but $300 for a 4 hour course, where 6 people sharing one machine, I think is just a little too steep.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Contrast in my rosetta is poor - any advice?

                              Hi Spoke,

                              Perhaps hit the coffeegeek forums or give 49th parallel coffee roasters based in vancouver a call. Ask them if they know of some like-minded places in Toronto.

                              Or you could always hold out hope that Tim Hortons goes in to specialty coffee ;D

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